Production technology of Saffron
Bengali name “Jafran”, saffron in English. Scientific name of Saffron is Crocus sativus? Saffron is the most expensive and rare plant in the world. It is also called “Red gold” because it is too expensive. Saffron costs around 6 lakh to 10 lakh Taka per kg.
It is not difficult to grow this tree. The hardest part is removing the pollen from the flowers. It takes a lot of effort to do this job. Because you have to collect flower pollen one by one. And saffron is so expensive for this work. As Bangladesh is located in the tropics, the normal temperature here is almost unsuitable for saffron cultivation.
Moreover, as waterlogging is the main obstacle, it can be facilitated by providing water through a drip irrigation system. Taking into account the overall aspect, it is possible to produce saffron in the country successfully through the greenhouse. As saffron is not produced in our country, only 36 to 40 kg of saffron is imported every year from all the famous restaurants, hotels, and confectionery shops of the country( Bangladesh Pratidin, 29 January 2021)
Origin of saffron
Greece is the origin of Saffron. Saffron cultivation is practiced in many countries of the European Union. It is cultivated more or less in Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Greece, Egypt, and China. In some parts of Spain and India, especially in Kashmir, the cultivation of this crop is very high. Spain exports about 80 percent of the world’s saffron.
It is used to propagate by collecting Corms or bulbs (much like onions). Only two bulbs are suitable for planting from one-year-old trees. However, after 3-4 years, 5-6 corms can be obtained from each tree. If you want to plant in a new land, you have to collect corms from 3-4-year-old trees and plant them in the land. It is not right to keep crops on the same land for more than 3-4 years. It is necessary to take a new method of cultivation by removing the head or bulb.
Saffron can be grown in almost all types of lands. However, sandy-loamy soils are more suitable for the cultivation of this crop. It is necessary to give priority to the selection for the cultivation of crops in high or medium elevation lands with drainage facilities. Planting of this crop should be done in places where there is adequate access to sun and light and air.
Suitable Temperature for Saffron
In the case of saffron yield, the temperature should never exceed 35o C or 40o C in summer and -15o C or -20o C in winter. So saffron is not good in extreme weather. Too much cold can dry out the leaves, the flowers do not bloom properly and the pale yellow color does not hold properly. If it suddenly gets very cold, covers the whole area with straw or fiber cloth. And if it gets very hot, then irrigation has to be done once in spring.
At the time of sowing, a pit of about 20 to 50 cm should be dug in the soil. Organic fertilizer must be given. Irrigation should be arranged. Irrigation is very necessary at least once when the leaves come out of the corn. In July, August or September, if corm is sown, starts yielding in late October or mid-November. Eight weeks after sowing. Saffron prefers sunlight, compared to a shadowy place. The corm is usually planted at a depth of 8-15 cm. Remember that the deeper you plant, the richer the quality of saffron will be.
Corm should be buried through row arrangement. There will be a distance of 15 to 20 cm between each row. It will have both drainage and ventilation facilities. If there is a walking arrangement between the two rows, then each tree can be taken care of separately. The distance between the two forms depends entirely on the size of the corms. On average there is a distance of 5-10 cm between the two corms and 10-20 cm in the case of large ones.
Flowers of saffron
Flowering begins in mid-October and lasts for three weeks. Flowers usually bloom at night. It is better to pick that flower the next morning. If rolled till noon, the petals may fall again.
The flowers are picked up and gathered in one place, then the red pollen is separated from the flowers one by one. Not the white or yellow part. The particles are then dried. It should be kept in mind that the temperature should not exceed 60 degrees and each particle should be dried very well. After drying, both weight and size are reduced by about 80 percent. For example, it is doubtful whether the size will be one kilogram after five kilograms of pollen has dried. This drying can also be done on hot coals or in the oven. Until the particles turn a dark red color. Once dry, take them in containers and keep them in a cool place for at least 30 days. They are then sent for use.
One type of rat, the Chika, and the rabbit-like to eat saffron leaves, flowers, and even tree trunks. For this, if such infestation is seen, it is necessary to take necessary measures by using necessary traps or using medicine to kill.
Root rot disease
It is a very harmful disease of saffron. In the attack of this disease, the roots rot and the tree dies. The disease is contagious enough, special care should be taken and saffron cannot be cultivated in the affected land for one or two years.